In the Works: Closing Walls and Opening the Window to 2016


Last week, we received approval from our inspectors to close up the walls in Phase II of our Fairmount whole-home renovation project (see the finished kitchen here and the restored cupola here). In this phase we are renovating all of the 3rd floor with a new walls, a new rear dormer that is adding a high ceiling and a door to a future rear deck. This Phase II work includes not only the 3rd floor renovation but also roofing the main roofs, new gutters & downspouts, a new HVAC system, some finishing trim and hardware work in other areas of the house.

Here, you see the exterior walls and ceiling have been sprayed with closed cell sprayfoam insulation – our go-to insulation. It is more effective than fiberglass batts and we are able to meet and exceed the energy requirements within a shallower thickness of wall and this keeps more floor space for our clients while making their older homes more comfortable. After spray foam, the drywall and mud team follow and really bring the newly reframed space into form. Seeing the walls, the doors, and closets take shape will be really exciting and allow us to set up for the next stages of finish work that include the finish floors, trim, doors, window, and all the fun finishes.

With the holidays just around the corner, we’re starting to book our large 2016 spring projects. Call us today for help with creating a new life for any space in your home.

That’s a Wrap! Fairmount Major Renovation – Phase 1


In the next couple of weeks, we’ll be wrapping up Phase 1 of a comprehensive renovation of a 19th Century twin home in Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighborhood. As you may recall, this project started with the restoration of a storm-damaged cupola, then grew to encompass a kitchen and breakfast room remodel/addition, laundry room redesign, new windows and lighting, exterior paint, and a reconfigured outdoor patio space. We are currently completing painting, tile, and other finishes, disassembling scaffolding, and removing the wraps from the beautiful new light fixtures. The homeowners, who have been living off-site during this project, are anxious to see the finished results of Phase 1, and they’re also eager to dive right into Phase 2, which will involve renovating the third floor, adding a small deck, and building a large dormer that provides access to the deck. We will also address some some window, roof, and ceiling issues in the first-floor living room. Beyond that, there are some HVAC and other mechanical issues that may need our attention.

After the unveiling of Phase 1, the homeowners will not only have beautiful and functional new kitchen and breakfast areas, they will also have meeting space that serves as “Ground Zero” for planning the remainder of their whole-home renovation. This is a big house with lots of projects happening at the same time. While this may be a daunting undertaking for some homeowners, breaking it into distinct phases has helped to keep it very manageable for our clients. We simply came up with a viable plan that fit their lifestyle and budget.

Stay tuned to our website and Facebook page — we’ll soon be posting Phase 1 “after” shots!

Big Reveal: The Crown Jewel of Our Fairmount Project

Looking upward at the ceiling of the cupola.
Looking upward at the ceiling of the cupola.

This week, the gorgeous historic reproduction stained glass clerestory windows were installed in the cupola of this 19th Century twin home in Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighborhood, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the results.

The view you see here is the interior of what is essentially a “folly” that is original to the building, and cantilevers out from the side of the house over the side yard. On the exterior, these new windows are surrounded by a new copper tile roof, and they look like little jewels against the wonderful sage green paint color chosen for the outside of the structure. Stay tuned for updates as this room gets interior paint and a fancy new light fixture, and we bring closure to the large-scale renovation of this beautiful historic home.

Update: Historic Cupola Restoration

10409626_855574774470312_3966382058010156794_nDuring the coming weeks, our crew will be making impressive headway on our Fairmount cupola restoration, including:

  • installation of new wood decking
  • removal of seven layers of roofing from old flat roof
  • closure of the old chimney opening
  • installation of a new flat rubber roof and skylight
  • a senior expert copper craftsman will be called in to install the new copper roof
  • historic reproduction windows for the openings are done and awaiting installation, but we are keeping them off site to protect from damage

Stay tuned to our website and Facebook page for photos of our progress!

In the Works: Fairmount Project Color Reveal

house.view_paint.scheme_This week, we are finally approaching the “fun stuff” on our Fairmount project!

Our exterior painters are on site prepping for the elaborate Victorian-schemed painting work shown in this rendering created by our color consultant.

Inside, the framing is ready for the new mechanicals to be installed. HVAC and electrical are going in now, and the plumbing rough-in is complete. Once these are inspected and approved, we can move on to insulation and drywall.